The nurse found him alone in the waiting room, sitting on a hard plastic chair with his feet kicking through the air.
He was all of four years old, wavy blond hair and scuffed sneakers. She asked him if he was alone and he told her he wasn't. "Daddy just went to get some coffee." He nodded to the room across the hall when he added, "Mommy's in there."
"Really?" The nurse sat beside him. "And what are you doing?"
He looked at her with a beatific smile. "Waiting for my little brother!"
The teacher found him sitting alone on the quad; school had let out two hours ago except for the advanced math class, which was running a little over.
He was all of thirteen years old, his backpack hugged to his chest, his back to a tree while he watched the clouds. The teacher thought he looked a little lonely, so he sat beside him and asked if everything was okay. He said it was.
"Did you miss your bus?"
The boy gave him a very pointed look. "Duh."
"Is there someone who can pick you up?"
So the teacher asked, "What are you still doing here?"
He answered solemnly, "Waiting for my little brother."
The hikers found him on his knees beside a haunted cave. Rain had been falling for hours, slicking his hair black, but he hadn't moved. Not once.
He was all of twenty-seven, leather and whiskey and rough edges. They knew the cave was haunted and they knew he hadn't come out alone; but now he was alone, a black smudge against rainwater running down rocks, his fists on his knees, staring into the mouth of the cave. They asked him if it was safe; he said he figured it was.
"Then what are you still doing out here?"
He looked at them like he thought they were a little slow. And then there was a scuffle of rocks moving inside the cave, and he jumped to his feet with a proud, happy smile. "Waiting for my little brother."
Lisa found him sitting downstairs with a bottle of scotch and tears on his face. She knew he was wasted, but not out of his mind.
He was all of thirty, broken edges and raw wounds and feeling, and he looked like a child, huddled in that arm chair alone. She crouched on the floor beside him and asked him if everything was okay; he said it would be.
So she asked, "How can you think that? Sam is gone."
He didn't answer, just took another swig of scotch.
"Dean." Lisa took his hand. "What are you still doing up?"
He looked out through black window glass reflecting his tearstained face, his bloodshot eyes, and spoke in a broken, scraped voice:
"Waiting for my little brother."